What is RKDimages?
RKDimages is a database containing descriptions and images of primarily Dutch and Flemish works of art from the fourteenth up to and including the nineteenth century. In addition, modern Dutch and foreign works of art are added on a project to project basis. The records refer to the physical illustrations in the RKD’s visual documentation, which are bar-coded. As a rule, every description is linked to one or more illustration(s). Records can be selected with very specific searches; the RKD organizes regularly workshops for interested users of RKDimages and RKDartists& (upon request also in English).
The content of RKDimages
At present, the database contains records of more than 195,000 works of art. The Old Dutch art collection lies at the heart of our efforts to introduce material into the database. In the case of that huge body of visual material that has been processed by scholars, you have a chance of approximately seventeen percent that something already appears in the RKDimages collection and is therefore accessible on-line. In contrast to the total amount of visual material present in the RKD – more than six million photographs and reproductions – the average coverage of RKDimages amounts to less than 1,3 percent.
Within the framework of a special project – Collectie Nederland – publicly owned paintings from before 1900 are being entered almost comprehensively. The results of other RKD projects, such as the Friedländer-project, the Oeuvrecatalogus van Jan Sluijters and the project Inventarisatie Decoratieve Interieurschilderingen (1600-1940) are also being incorporated into RKD images.
Comparative research regarding attributions is done on a daily basis in the RKD. Much space is reserved in the database for the task of establishing attributions (old and new). Various RKD specialists publish their discoveries (with citation) directly in RKDimages. This does not mean, however, that extensive research has been done for every work of art.
Searching in RKDimages
In the search form, you will find help texts that describe step by step how to search in the database, and which also provide suggestions and tips.
If you are looking for a specific work of art, you can begin by searching by artist, refining your search later on. But you can also search by collection, or do iconographic research either via Iconclass or the extensive thesaurus of subject keywords.
Searches that offer insight into Dutch and Flemish art production are also possible. For example: search dated works of 1631; search works of art with a given subject within a given period; search for seventeenth-century paintings done on copper, etc.
Your reaction to RKDimages
We appreciate being informed about essential corrections and about relevant new details. Please include a citation. These changes are then incorporated into the database as soon as possible.
For questions, comments and additions you can contact:
Rieke van Leeuwen MA, Curator of Art-historical Databases